Can Cement be Used as Mortar between Bricks on a House’s Exterior Wall? A Practical Solution

When it comes to building or renovating your home, the choice of materials and techniques can make a world of difference. One question that often arises in the world of construction is whether cement can be used as mortar between bricks on a house’s exterior wall. 

Yes, cement can indeed be used as mortar between bricks on a house’s exterior wall. In fact, it’s a viable option that offers several advantages. However, it’s essential to use the right type of masonry cement mortar. So, let’s find out the answers together that you are looking for in this virtual world! 

Can Cement be Used as Mortar between Bricks on a House's Exterior Wall

Is It Ideal To Use Cement As Mortar For Exterior Bricks Binding Work?

Yes, cement can be used as mortar between bricks on a house’s exterior wall. In fact, it is one of the most common types of mortar used for this purpose. However, it is important to note that cement mortar is not the only type of mortar that can be used for exterior brickwork. 

Other types of mortar, such as lime mortar and masonry adhesive, can also be used. The best type of mortar to use for a particular project will depend on a number of factors, including the type of brick being used, the climate, and the desired aesthetic appearance.

Which Type of Cement Mortar Can be Used?

There are two main types of cement mortar that can be used for exterior brickwork: 

Type N mortar is a general-purpose mortar that is suitable for most exterior brickwork applications. It is a mixture of 1 part cement, 6 parts sand, and 1 part lime. Type N mortar is strong, durable (can achieve 750 psi after properly curing), and resistant to water and other elements. It is also relatively easy to mix and apply.

Type S mortar is a high-strength mortar that is typically used for more demanding applications, such as building foundations and retaining walls. It is a mixture of 2 parts Portland cement, 9 parts sand, and 1 part hydrated lime. Type S mortar is stronger than type N mortar, but it is also more difficult to mix and apply.

However, there are other two types of masonry mortar mix available. Type O, and M. 

The type O masonry mortar mixture doesn’t have enough compressive strength, 350 psi, and due to its lower structural capacity profile, this isn’t used for exterior brick bondage operation. On the other hand, type M is for heavy work and has a compressive strength of at least 2500 psi, and for the house’s exterior wall, the value is way more than the required value. That’s why, none of them are used for brick binding work.

Tips for Using Masonry Cement Mortar for Brick Bonding

When using cement mortar, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. The mortar should be mixed to the correct consistency and applied to the bricks in a uniform manner. It is also important to ensure that the mortar is allowed to cure properly before it is exposed to the elements.

Here are some additional tips for using cement mortar:

  • Use clean, fresh water to mix the mortar.
  • Add the sand to the cement first and mix until well combined.
  • Slowly add the water and mix until the mortar reaches a desired consistency. The mortar should be thick enough to hold its shape, but not so thick that it is difficult to work with.
  • Apply the mortar to the bricks in a uniform manner using a trowel. Be sure to fill all of the joints between the bricks completely.
  • Allow the mortar to cure for at least 24 hours before exposing it to the elements.

Bonus Tips – Alternatives to River Sand in the Mortar Mixture for Brick Binding

Research was conducted by Sumanth M Kamplimath, and Ashwin M. Joshi on Alternatives to Conventional Cement-Sand Mortar for Sustainable Masonry Construction, where they used different materials instead of sand and found alternatives to cement-sand pair in the mortar mixture.

  • Cement – Lime – Soil (1:1:1.5) – 50% Water: 14.13 MPa.
  • Cement – Lime – Soil (1:1:2) – 50% Water: 11.29 MPa.
  • Cement – Quarry Dust (1:6) – 60% Water: 16.57 MPa.
  • Cement – Manufactured Sand (1:6) – 60% Water: 5.07 MPa.

Final Thoughts

Cement mortar is a durable and versatile material that can be used for a variety of masonry applications. When used correctly, cement mortar can provide a strong and lasting bond between bricks and other masonry materials.

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